WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTSM) – A new report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows historic declines in reading and math scores during the COVID-19 Pandemic that erased decades of academic progress.
The assessment, referred to by some as the “nation’s report card,” measured reading and math scores for children in both fourth and eighth grade.
The national average for reading scores dropped to levels not seen since 1992. However, in math, scores were even worse, with the largest decreases ever recorded since the test was first administered in 1969.
The nationwide assessment was put on hold during the Pandemic, so this is the first year since 2019 that data has been collected on this scale.
The NAEP test is typically given every two years. This past year, it was taken between January and March by students in every state.
In one of the most troubling statistics, 38-percent of eighth graders were deemed “below basic” in math compared to just 31-percent in 2019.
While almost every state showed some negative fallout from the difficulties brought about during the COVID Pandemic, some states fared better than others.
In Texas, the state actually improved its overall rank in both fourth and eighth grade reading and eighth grade math, according to an analysis conducted by the Texas Education Agency.
Additionally, Texas students also did slightly better than other students across the nation in fourth grade math, with a score of 239 compared to the national average of 235.
On top of that, the reading performance of students with disabilities showed marked progress for both fourth and eighth graders. Texas jumped from 34th to 17th in fourth grade reading and 48th to 14th in eighth grade reading for those students with a disability.
However, students in New Mexico lost ground compared to other states in both reading and math.
Fourth graders in New Mexico now trail the national averages in reading and math by about 14 points. That’s also the case for eighth graders when it comes to math scores, although the state’s eighth graders performed slightly better in reading, trailing the national average by 11 points.
Both fourth and eighth graders from the state scored a full 10 points lower in math than they did back in 2019.